We all form opinions about the websites we visit - almost instantly. Some are so informative and eye-catching that they bring us back a few times a week, others leave us with a negative experience or no experience at all, never to come back.
But what many business owners ask themselves, what distinguishes a good (or great) website from a bad one? In truth, all individuals have opinions and tastes, and we will never agree on which websites are good, great, or completely bad. But most of us can base our feelings on similar components. So let's take a look at 8 key components that are instrumental in the experience each visitor has and the feelings they leave:
Read More: 7 Essential Elements of Effective Web Design
1. Purpose and clarity
Before creating a website, you need to define the purpose or goals of your website. Having a clear and specific goal is crucial. Taking this time before diving into the design and development process can result in a website being built or broken. Owners who have a clear understanding of what they want to achieve will be able to define it
- How should the site be managed.
- What content should be included.
- What messages will be delivered to visitors and how?
Without knowing what you're trying to achieve, you risk not having a trend that can ruin your chances of positively influencing users before they even reach your site. You must define your target audience. For example, is your target audience the general public, or is it someone who works in a particular industry or profession? Is your target audience a certain age group? What about sex? Another consideration is the social and economic status of the target audience.
2. Ease of use
Your visitors are there to find the information they need or want. The truth is that today's Internet users are impatient and will leave your site immediately if they are not affected or cannot understand how your site works.
For example, a site with a wide range of products should have a powerful search function, a product catalog and an easy-to-use shopping cart. You can never go wrong with keeping it simple when it comes to your site design and user interface.
Additionally, having a responsive and welcoming site will allow users to view and use your site across all devices. A site based on a well-planned wireframe will also be compatible with mobile devices. This allows smartphone users to get the required information on the go.
The important information you want the visitor to see should be "above the fold". This old term in today's newspaper means that it should appear on the first screen without having to scroll down. So your company logo and name should be the first thing they see. Below are the main navigation links, including important ones like "Contact Us".
Some things to consider:
- Avoid too much information
- Avoid complex vocabulary
- Use an easy layout
- Use short paragraphs
3. Focus on the user
Users are the ultimate determining factor in whether or not your site is successful. A user-centric website should be functional and accessible. Designers or website owners often get distracted by their own wants and needs for the site, sometimes forgetting the wants and needs of the user or visitor.
My job as a designer is to do my best to please and make everyone happy. Sometimes this includes providing an expert opinion that will remind customers that they are straying from the path their website should deliver.
Website content should be written for the visitor and not for you. You want to convince the visitor to do something. This could be going to the products or services page or contacting you. When you want a visitor to do something, it is known as a Call to Action, or CTA.
Navigating your site is more important than you think. Having a website that is intuitive and easy to navigate will make your users happy, and while it may not be the reason for your visitors to come back, you can dismiss it as a reason why they don't.
Having a well-developed, intentional, and simple sitemap will go a long way. Sites that require extra clicks or page links will only frustrate the visitor. Get them where they want to go - quickly and easily.
Another thing that helps the visitor is the "breadcrumbs". Breadcrumbs, tell the visitor where they are on your website and how they got there. It is usually located below the logo or website name on the left side and reads from left to right.
An example is Home > Products > Kitchen Tools > Cooking > Utensils. If visitors want to go back to kitchen appliances, they click on this breadcrumb. Then they are taken to that page. In addition, they can see how they got to that page. The easier it is for a viewer to navigate your website, the more likely they are to come back.
One of the obvious main components of your site is its appearance. The design should appeal to your target audience and present your company professionally. Having a design that uses modern trends and appropriate functionality will attract users.
Technology and design trends are constantly changing, so having a design that can last (or easily evolve) for years to come will ensure your investment right from the start.
A website that is not well planned will quickly become obsolete and result in a re-investment in your site much sooner than expected. Your site design should fit and reflect your brand. Colours, typography, graphics, and images should work together as a cohesive package that will continue to be relevant over time.
However, care must be taken to ensure that your website does not download too slowly on any device. If it takes too long to load, the viewer will leave. Two things that can increase your download speed are having large images or downloading a lot of items from your website.
6. Easy updates and content management
Having a brand new website is great, but what happens when you need to update your content or add information in a timely manner?
Unless you're an accomplished programmer and can make tweaks to your site, you'll either need to ask the developer to make edits or make sure you build a content management system (CMS) on your site from the start.
This is something a lot of website owners forget to think about when they are looking for someone to build their website.
All of our websites are developed using the WordPress Content Management Platform (CMS). When your site is fully optimized and ready to launch, we'll basically hand over the keys, and you'll have access to update your content at any time.
With WordPress, if you later decide to add some features to your website, many plugins will be available. Some plugins are free and some charge a fee. However, installing these plugins is easy and can provide additional functionality to your website.
7. SEO and Analytics
A great website without visitors is just a waste and a shame. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will help drive traffic to your site. In addition, having relevant site content will connect you with new customers.
For example, let's say you launched a site that sells auto parts in the Tri-City area. When your customers Google "Tri-City auto parts," you want Google to recognize your site's content as an appropriate match and to include your site's URL on the first page (ideally) of search results.
Integrating site analytics and tracking software will give you insight into what's really going on on your website, from traffic metrics to keyword searches. Tracking also helps in targeting your potential customers, creating relevant ads, and creating a high-converting website.
Search engines, such as Google, use software to determine where your website will appear in search results. Google is constantly updating its algorithm for calculating a search engine results page (SERP) for a website. Therefore, it is necessary to keep up with major Google updates.
If you are considering your first website or want to update an existing one, we can help make your website great.
Your website can be the most important customer source your business can have, and it should put the primary focus on attracting new customers and making additional services available to existing customers by raising awareness of all the services you offer. Providing them with the tools they need to deal with you in an easy and fun way will increase your website conversion and bring you the kind of success you seek.
Remember that the relationship with your web designer will likely continue throughout your career, so choose wisely! (Hope this helps!)